With funding for planning growing ever more scarce around the state, some localities received a windfall last week from the Strategic Growth Council. SGC announced recommendations for its second round of Sustainable Communities Planning Grants. If the recommendations are adopted, a total of $24 million would be disbursed for 43 projects around the state.  

SGC awarded $20 million in the first round of Sustainable Communities Planning Grants in December 2010 and expects to award the final round in 2013. The grants, which will total $65 million, are funded by the 2006 water protection act Proposition 84. For this round, SGC received 137 applications requesting a total of $73 million. Though SGC staff acknowledge that granting $24 in the second round leaves a relatively sparse sum of $13 million for third-round projects, the staff report contends that the number of high-quality proposals warranted a larger total award for the second round. 

Not surprisingly, some of the largest awards are earmarked for the metropolitan planning organizations that are implementing of Senate Bill 375. SCG staff are recommending awards between $885,000 and $1 million each to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments, the San Diego Association of Governments, the Association of Bay Area Governments, and the Fresno Council of Governments. Numerous cities and counties also received grants for planning related to climate change. The biggest winner among cities was East Palo Alto, which may receive $1 million to revamp its general plan. 

Applicants were scored on a 100-point scale. Proposals from Ventura County, the City of Gridley, and the City of Oakland top the list with scores of 96.33, 96.33, and 96.0, respectively. 

For a complete list of recommended awardees, please click here (pdf).